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Lil Gordon

First Assistant Secretary - First Nations Partnerships

Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts

Lil Gordon is a proud Ngemba woman from Brewarrina in Northern NSW with 34 years of experience working in and alongside Aboriginal communities.

Lil Gordon is a strong, dynamic and accomplished leader. Throughout her career, she has worked in high-level complex environments requiring resilient and focused leadership. Lil’s current endeavours include First Assistant Secretary – First Nations Partnerships with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications & the Arts and Consultant/Facilitator – First Nations Outcomes.

Lil is the former Head of Aboriginal Affairs NSW, Department of Premier & Cabinet where she has led and influenced change in government to support the social, cultural and economic aspirations of Aboriginal people in NSW, making sure their voices are heard and interests represented. Lil led a highly complex and diverse policy area providing expert and strategic advice to the highest levels of the NSW Government about barriers to, and opportunities for, achieving social justice for Aboriginal people and communities in NSW including exceptional leadership in the Aboriginal Affairs Covid response to supporting Aboriginal communities.

Other roles included Director of Partnerships with Aboriginal Affairs, Director of Aboriginal Learning Circle with TAFE NSW, CEO of Barang Regional Alliance and a teacher in high school, Juvenile Justice, and Correctional Centres.

In 2023, Lil engaged in the Atlantic Fellowship for Social Equity and completed a Master of Social Leadership.

Lil has plans to continue her leadership path, grounded in her deep connection to culture and her ancestors. Building relationships of equity and ensuring fair exchange in all interactions by applying leadership practices through deeply held ways of knowing and belonging; values-based, collaborative, and curiosity-based approach.



Panel: Finding a place for your cultural identity in your leadership journey regardless of profession or industry:

  • Validating the thought leadership that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people bring to workplaces and communities Advocating for self-determination in workplace RAPs, cultural safety and anti-racism mechanisms

  • Learning the difference between when being part of a board or leadership team is conducive to your professional development and when you don't have capacity for additional cultural load

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